I. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Illinois

According to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey for 2021, the median cost of in-home care or home health care services in Illinois is $5,339 per month. When considering the cost of care, you should factor in the quality and level of support that you need. There are different types of in-home care available, from companion care to home health care.

In-home care usually requires no direct medical services, such as rehabilitative therapy or nursing assistance. Home health care involves one or more services that are provided by a medical practitioner, such as a nurse, doctor or certified health professional. This type of care is much more involved and may cost more as a result.

The Cost of Home Care and Home Health Care in Nearby States

When compared with neighboring states, Illinois is one of the more expensive states for in-home and home health care services. This is due to a growing senior population and elevated demand for these services. The median cost of care in neighboring states, such as Indiana, Kentucky and Missouri, is identical at $4,767 per month. Only Wisconsin is more expensive with a median cost of $5,529 per month for in-home care and $5,720 per month for home health care.

Home Care Home Health Care
Illinois $5,339 $5,339
National $4,957 $5,148
Wisconsin $5,529 $5,720
Indiana $4,767 $4,767
Kentucky $4,767 $4,767
Missouri $4,767 $4,767

The Cost of Home Care vs. Other Types of Care

The level and quality of care you can expect greatly influences what you’re going to pay each month. In-home care and home health services ($5,339) are generally more expensive than adult day health care ($1,885) and assisted living facilities ($4,488) but less expensive than semiprivate nursing home care ($6,266).

II. Can Medicaid Help You Pay for Home Care in Illinois?

Medicaid provides coverage for numerous medical services in Illinois, and there are waiver programs available to make home care more affordable. These waiver programs may cover the cost of specific medical services, transportation, the cost of transitioning from a nursing facility and care for people who have disabilities. If the type of care that you need isn’t covered directly by Medicaid, you might still qualify for one or more of these waivers.

Home Care Waiver Programs in Illinois

While the cost of care in Illinois is greater than the national average, the state offers waivers to help those who can’t afford the rising cost of in-home care or home health care. The Home and Community Based Services waiver program provides coverage for low-income residents in Illinois who receive care at home or in a community living facility. There are nine HCBS waivers you may qualify for and to apply, you must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident and meet the Illinois state criteria to receive Medicaid.

Supportive Living Program The Illinois Supportive Living Program covers the cost of medications, in-home care services, social and health activities and the cost of 24-hour care staff. It doesn’t cover the cost of room and board at a nursing facility however.
Persons who are Elderly This waiver is for those who may soon need to be placed in an assisted living facility but would prefer to receive in-home care or home health services. It covers adult day care, emergency response services and the cost of home nursing care. To qualify, you must be over 60 years old, a citizen or legal resident of Illinois and eligible for Medicaid.
Managed Long Term Services & Support If you’re approved for Medicaid and Medicare benefits in Illinois and opt out of the Medicare-Medicaid Alignment Initiative, you can qualify for the Managed Long Term Services and Support waiver. It provides coverage for home health care, emergency response services, transportation to and from medical facilities, adult day services and mental health.
Pathways to Community Living Adults who have been living in a nursing home for at least 90 days may be eligible for the Pathways to Community Living. Part of the Money Follows the Person initiative, this program provides care coordination and case management services and helps with the cost of transitioning to a residential setting.


How to Know if You're Eligible for Medicaid in Illinois

To qualify for Medicaid, your income must remain beneath the threshold for your family, and there’s a limit to the value of sellable assets that you may maintain. These limits vary based on your household size. In most cases, monthly income is limited to $1,133 for individuals or $1,526 per couple. Assets are capped at $2,000 or $3,000.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Illinois
Income Limits* Asset Limits
Single Person $13,596 $2,000
Two-Person Household $18,312 $3,000

*Per year

You must also meet additional eligibility requirements to qualify for Medicaid.

  • Medicaid long-term care is available to adults over 60 years of age or who have a qualifying disability.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident.
  • You must reside in Illinois.
  • Some waivers require a medical evaluation.

How to Apply for Medicaid in Illinois

You can apply for Medicaid online at Benefits.gov or by calling the Health Benefits Hotline at (800) 843-6154.

What Information You Will Need

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or legal resident status
  • Proof of age and your date of birth
  • A Social Security card or green card
  • Income statements from Social Security and retirement benefits

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid

If you’re having difficulty applying for Medicaid coverage, there are several ways to get assistance. Here are some agencies that can help you apply for Medicaid in Illinois.

Contact Area Served Services Provided
Healthcare.gov Online Entire state The Healthcare Marketplace allows individuals to apply for Medicaid benefits directly by filling in a survey when searching for health coverage. When providing your information, the website automatically determines if you qualify for Medicaid based on your answers to qualification questions.
Illinois Legal Aid Online Online Entire state Illinois Legal Aid Online can answer any questions that you have about filing for Medicaid, and it offers assistance in preparing your application. The website also provides additional information about which waivers you may be eligible for.
Illinois Department of Human Services Online or at (800) 843-6154 Entire state The IDHS can help you fill out your application or give you the status of your pending application. You can contact the department online or by calling the IDHS hotline.


III. Can You Use Medicare to Pay for Home Care in Illinois?

Medicare doesn’t pay for non-medical home care, but it can cover the cost of the medical version of home care, called “Home Healthcare” in some situations. In order to be eligible, you need to be homebound and have a referral from your doctor for the specific type of medical care that is needed. There are also other restrictions that apply.

Below is an overview of some of the services typically covered by Medicare for those who are eligible:

  • Physical Therapy: Physical therapy is used to help patients recover from injuries (broken bones, knee injuries, etc.), and to treat ongoing conditions such as arthritis. Additionally, physical therapy is often provided in the home to help seniors recover from surgeries and procedures, such as a knee or hip replacement.
  • Nursing Care: Licensed nurses can provide a number of medical services (such as wound care, changing feeding tubes, etc.) for those who need medical care, but don’t need to stay in a hospital full-time.
  • Occupational Therapy: Occupational therapy is designed to help seniors regain or maintain the ability to accomplish normal, daily tasks, such as bathing, dressing, eating, etc., and providers can travel to your home if needed.
  • Speech Therapy: Seniors can lose the ability to adequately communicate for many reasons, and speech therapists are there to help seniors regain the ability to communicate using a variety of means. Additionally, speech therapists help to keep seniors independent by modifying diets and teaching special techniques to swallow safely.

As mentioned above, home care is distinctly different from home healthcare, but there is some overlap – so while Medicare doesn’t cover non-medical home care, there are personal care services that may be covered in special circumstances – such as an occupational therapist helping with eating or dressing.

Read our guide to Medicare and Home Care Coverage for more information.

IV. Other Financial Assistance Options for Home Care in Illinois

While the above programs can be a great way to make home care affordable for many people, they are not the right solution for everyone. Thankfully, there are other ways to make home care more affordable for you and your family. For more information about your other options, read our section on Other Ways to Pay for this guide.

V. Free Resources for Aging in Place in Illinois

Illinois offers state-funded programs for seniors who are aging in their homes, ranging from assistance with medications to resources for those who have Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia. These resources can greatly improve your quality of life and reduce your expenses.

Contact Area Served Services Provided
Adult Protective Services Online Entire state APS aids seniors who may be going through abuse by investigating claims of elder neglect, exploitation and medical misconduct. The agency also provides free legal services to seniors.
Senior Health Assistance Program Online Entire state SHAP offers counseling services and phone support for seniors over 60 years of age. Counselors provide application assistance and may be able to help you determine your eligibility for medical benefits, waiver programs and subsidized care.
Illinois Department on Aging Online Entire state The Illinois Department on Aging offers educational resources and supportive services to people caring for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Senior Health Insurance Program


Online Entire state SHIP is a free service that you can use to apply for Medicare benefits, see if you qualify for Medicaid financial assistance and determine what insurance options are best for your specific needs.
Community Care Program Online Entire state The Community Care Program offers free resources for aging seniors over 60 years of age who require increasing levels of in-home care. The program aims to prevent or delay the need for seniors to transition to a community living facility and offers supportive services for those who are making a transition.
Automated Medication Dispenser Program Online Entire state The mismanagement of medication is a growing concern for seniors who may take numerous medications. This program helps ensure that you’re taking your medicines correctly to avoid dangerous overdoses. It can connect you with a certified pharmacist who can review your medications and help you manage them effectively.

VI. Vaccination Requirements & COVID-19 Rules for Home Care Aides in Illinois

The state of Illinois has a current mandate that requires all professionals who provide in-home care and home health care services to receive the COVID-19 vaccine if they accept Medicare or Medicaid. These rules may change over time, so check in with your local Area Agency on Aging to see whether these mandates still apply. In Illinois, some home care agencies require workers to exceed federal requirements for vaccines, personal protection equipment and policies that may prevent the spread of the virus.

If you’d like more information, you can contact the Illinois Department of Human Services using their free hotline at (800) 843-6154.

VII. Rules and Regulations for Home Care Providers in Illinois

The Illinois Department of Public Health oversees rules and regulations for home care services in the state. These rules are outlined in Section 245 of Title 77 of the Public Health Code.

What Types of Care Can Be Provided? Home health agencies are allowed to provide skilled nursing care along with at least one other qualifying form of care. Agencies must detail the services they provide in writing to the state along with their procedures, charges for service and proof of liability insurance.
Are Care Plans Required? Treatment plans must be provided, and care plans must state the nature of the services provided, their duration and how and where care is received. Treatment plans must be submitted to each patient’s physician within two weeks of beginning care, and the physician has 30 days to accept the proposed treatment plan.
Can Home Care Providers Assist with Medication Management? In-home care providers may assist patients with the administration of their regular medications.
Are There Special Requirements for Screening Home Care Aides? Staff must undergo a criminal background check and health screening prior to working directly with patients.
Are Home Care Aides Required to Undergo Special Training? Home care aides may provide companion services, but they need the direct supervision of a registered nurse to provide any form of medical care. Aides may provide assistance with walking, bathing, skincare, medication administration and other routine tasks, but they must defer to the authority of a registered nurse when encountering any needs that require medical treatment.
Does Medicaid Cover Home Care in Illinois? While Medicaid doesn’t cover home care services directly, there are multiple waivers available that may cover some or all of the cost.
How Do I Report Abuse of Myself or a Loved One? If you suspect a loved one or elderly person is being abused, you can contact Adult Protective Services at (866) 800-1409 to begin an investigation.

VIII. How to Find a Home Care Provider in Illinois

Whether you are looking for yourself or a loved one, finding a quality home care provider can be a stressful process. To help you overcome this challenge, we’ve created a helpful checklist below that can help guide you through the process of both determining your needs, and finding a home care agency that will be the best fit for you and your family.

Download PDF Here

Learn More About Home Care in Illinois’s Top Cities